Friday, December 4, 2015

October 2015 Ipsy Glam Bag - Alter Ego - Unboxing & Review!

Hello! Hope you're having a great day! For this post I want to share with you my October 2015 Ipsy Glam Bag...
...in December. I've been very neglectful for a while now (pretty much ever since I moved), and the longer I put things off, the less I feel motivated to post about them. I haven't made a YouTube video in months as well and, as much as I want to get back in the swing of things, it's been surprisingly difficult. Part of the reason why I've been putting these things off is that, in order to get caught up at this point, I will have to make numerous posts a day and that can be a little overwhelming. I know I can set the date and time for a post to help artificially spread them out, but I really want to get these things off my desk and into my life!
Ipsy is a $10 a month beauty subscription service where you get five deluxe to full size samples of beauty products. They all come in a special makeup bag that changes every month (hence the "glam bag" moniker) and, overall, you get an average of $25-$35 worth of products. The biggest downfalls of Ipsy are that a lot of the brands featured are online only and are priced oddly (they have really high retail prices but are almost always on sale) and the rewards program is not as good as Birchbox. If you're interested in signing up, I'd really appreciate it if you used my referral link here (otherwise you can just go to Ipsy directly and sign up that way).

For October, Ipsy went the other direction from Birchbox (who had breast cancer awareness themed boxes) and did a kinda-sorta Halloween themed bag which they titled "Alter Ego". There were at least three different versions of info cards with three different beauty gurus (I actually don't know who they are; I'm just assuming), though the "info" they supplied were identical (that is, pretty much nothing beyond social media tags).
The bag itself was pretty cool this month, and it embodied the "Alter Ego" theme. One side, as seen here, is a textured metallic gold, while the other is a smooth patent black (I did not take a picture of it since it was super reflective and distracting).
I also apologize for the less than stellar photos; I keep moving around my house to find the best lighting and have yet to really find a consistent location. Also my camera is getting old and...is probably not the best. Going in the order of the products in my Glam Room (which is also alphabetical...), the first product I got was a sample of Ayres Pampas Sunrise hand cream. This is an Ipsy exclusive sample, but I don't think the fragrance itself is exclusive to Ipsy since you could purchase it on the website (or I could purchase it since I used the link from my Glam Room; I didn't actually test this). Pampas Sunrise has notes of lemongrass, mandarin, bergamot, patchouli, spearmint, and cedarwood, which sounded...interesting.
I waited a long time to actually try this since I have a ton of hand lotion open and I am very bad at putting it on regularly, but it smells kind of...medicinal. It's not necessarily bad, but it smells like an ointment that has a fragrance added to it to try to cover up a more unpleasant scent, but you can still smell the underlying medicine. It's definitely non-greasy, as it claims to be, but it leaves my hands feeling powdery and somehow dryer than before. A full size is 1.4oz for $12.50, making this 0.7oz sample worth $6.25.
Next up we have nail polish! ...Reflectively-capped nail polish... But nail polish nonetheless! I love getting nail polish in my sample bags because, well, I love nail polish! Even if it's bad nail polish, it's still nail polish. Unfortunately, this might be bad nail polish...
This is a gel effect, no-uv-light-needed, nail polish by the brand Aurora in the color Inky Dinky. I've never heard of Aurora before, which means it's either an online-only brand (which Ipsy samples a lot of), or a brand sold in drugstores like Walgreens or CVS (which I never go to, so I never know what they carry if people aren't talking about it). This polish claims to dry quickly, with an extra shiny and durable finish, similar to gel polish (but without the light!). There's no claim that you need a top/base coat to help set it, so I assumed that the polish would perform adequately on its own.

I did have a swatch of this polish, but it was so shiny that it reflected everything at my desk, making it difficult to make out the true color. While it lives up to its super shiny claim, overall I am not impressed with this polish. It does dry fast, but it's a little difficult to work with. It's very, very thin and watery so it gets everywhere (I got a bunch on the neighboring swatches) and it takes quite a few coats to build up. The color is a super deep purplish-blue, which is a little too jewel-toned for me. This is a full size of this product and, while it originally retails for $12, it was on sale for $8.99 when I got this bag. For that price, I would stick with OPI or Zoya.
Next is the item that everyone (well, almost everyone. I have seen some exceptions, but they are few and far between) received this month: theBalm Cosmetics Meet Matt(e) Huges long-lasting liquid lipstick in the color Committed. I was super excited to try this product and, in the end, I ended up being quite disappointed.
This is a still wet swatch, so it doesn't show the matte-ness, but it's a pretty accurate representation of the color. It's a pinky-nude, which is pretty standard when it comes to nude lip product samples (does this color really look good on almost everyone? It always ends up looking slightly off on me). A lot of people said that they loved this lipstick and, since I'm such a sucker for matte liquid lipsticks, I wanted to love it too. For starters, and this is really a personal thing, the scent is very off putting. It's a vanilla-mint scent; it's almost like those Andes mints, minus the chocolate note. I really dislike mint, but I know that that's the exception and not the norm. Beyond the scent, though, I found this lipstick to be incredibly drying and flaky and just not comfortable to wear. I don't know if I got a weird one or what, but I had to take this product off after it finished drying since it was so dry and awful looking. I'm willing to give it another chance, especially since it's been sitting at my desk this whole time and time heals almost all wounds, but I don't have high hopes. This full size of this product is $17 for 0.219oz, making this 0.04oz sample worth about $3.10.
When I first started Ipsy, I requested to get fewer tools and more makeup (I think you can do this in your beauty profile as well as when you review individual items), because my collection was small and I hadn't tried many things. Now, I actually want tools since I have so much makeup that I doubt I can get through it all before it goes bad; tools never expire (at least, not from age. Stuff like Beauty Blenders should be replaced now and then). I was super happy to get this Crown Oval Concealer Brush (C224) and, even though it's the least expensive item in this months bag, it's probably my favorite! This brush is available from Crown Brush where you can buy them individually, in sets, or in bulk (and even put your own logo on them). It is made out of 100% Japanese Torray Taklon, so it is synthetic. This brush apparently retails for $7.45, but it was on sale for $2.98 when I got this bag (though that could just be a marketing ploy and it's that price all the time).
The last sample I got for the month of October is one that I have gotten before in my Birchbox (I think I mentioned this in my October 2015 Birchbox post, but I got an item in there that I had gotten before as well, so it was a month of duplicates). Even though I have gotten this product before, I was still happy to get it because it's a great product! This is the Visanti Cosmetics Brighten Up! Exfoliating Cleanser. It uses both enzymes (from papayas) and physical exfoliants (micro-crystals) to make your skin bright and smooth. It is paraben-free, vegan, and not tested on animals. I find this cleanser/exfoliator/brightener to be very effective, but still gentle enough that it doesn't irritate my skin. This is a technical full size since you can purchase this size individually (they call it a travel size); it retails for $10. If you want a larger size, you can get 120g for $34.

Overall, this was an okay bag; I got to try some new things and, even though they were mostly disappointing, I only had to pay $10. Plus I got a nice brush and a great facial cleanser, along with a neat makeup bag. I got three full sized products and two deluxe sample sizes with an overall value of about $31.32.

Thanks for reading! <3

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